Just taking out the biggest seven players they lost from 2015, the team was losing 108 goals, 115 assists, and 36 blocks. The exodus included 2014 MVP Alan Kolick, 2014 Championship Game MVP Makham Shofner, and one of the highest scoring players in league history, Peter Prial. However despite the loses, the team maintained Delrico Johnson, Lloyd Blake, and Dom Gibson giving the team a small core to still build around.
Instead of going all-in for an outside shot at the playoffs, the team, under second-year coach Will Smolinski, instituted the first year of a three-year plan. A plan that the organization hopes will get them back to the glory days of 2014.
As mentioned in every other team recap thus far, chemistry is one of the biggest factors influencing their success. D.C. was another team that lacked chemistry among their top lines. This forced many players that normally were seen on defense to switch over to offense and help implement a new system for the team.
No surprise, the playoffs were not the primary goal for the Current. Throughout the season though there were flashes of brilliance. From the onset, it appeared as if D.C. were going to be able to keep up with the top teams in the East. In the first three games, albeit at home, they lost by a combined five points. Expecting the team to improve as the year went on with more chemistry, the Current still had a chance.
It was evident that fourth quarters were a huge problem for the team. The team was outscored 52-31 in final period of each game. In three of the teams seven losses, they had a led going into the fourth. Adding some pivotal injuries in the back end of the season, the team never fully discovered their full potential and fell to 3-7. One of the wins coming as a result of a cancellation.
Even with poor results, the team discovered some budding talent. Returner Zach Norrbom (six goals, nine assists) stepped into a large role on offense as a secondary handler before being sidelined with an injury. Rookies Mark Flores (11 goals, 12 assists), Kyle Khalifa (19 goals, 6 blocks), and Justin Solis (nine goals, eight assists) all became huge assets that worked themselves up on the offensive line by season's end. Perhaps the most impressive was Antoine Davis (11 goals, 10 blocks) whose size and athleticism made him a huge target on offense and a mismatch on defense. Unfortunately for the Current, Davis will not be returning next year due to him moving to California.
Surprisingly, the Current had the highest offensive scoring efficiency of the non-playoff teams with 56.3 percent. On the flip side, they had the lowest TPOP in the league with a 5.107, meaning that a lot of their possessions were short lived (whether scoring or a turnover). Compared to last season the team had the same defensive scoring efficiency of 28.3 percent. Both were the only two seasons for the team to miss the playoffs.
vs. Rumble: 2-1 PD: +1
vs. Whitecaps: 0-2 PD: -6
vs. Spinners: 0-4 PD: -16
To recap their entire season in a single game, Week 11 against the Philadelphia Spinners had a little bit of everything. Inconsistent offense, at times a hesitant defense, and another fourth quarter collapse. This all being while D.C. was just on the verge of getting a victory.
In the scope of things, there was nothing in the standings that would be affected in this game. Philadelphia had clinched home-field advantage in the playoffs and D.C. was going to finish in third place in the conference for the second year in a row.
The Current though wanted to prove that they could compete against the best. They wanted to show they could beat someone besides the New York Rumble and have some optimism heading into the off-season.
Coming out of the gates the home team was rolling and secured three straight breaks in a row to start the matchup. Philadelphia even looked to be in a position to come back but D.C. maintained their poise. Leading the way, Davis recorded two goals, two assists, and three blocks playing on both offense and defense. Joining him was Gibson with three goals, an assist, and a block, who was expected to have a big season but never really pulled it all together.
It would seem that D.C. would have pulled out the upset, wrong. Just watch the final quarter and it shows the storyline of their entire season.
Team MVP: Delrico Johnson
(22G, 12A, 10B, 64/79 throws, .463 TPOP)
Team Star: Antoine Davis & Delrico Johnson (Two weeks each)
Team Rookie of the Year: Kyle Khalifa
(19G, 3A, 6B, 44/53 throws, .399 TPOP)